Nehemiah 8:1-12 Strengthened in the Joy of the Lord

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them… Nehemiah 8:10-12

Christian, are you weak? Do you struggle with sin? Can’t seem to find the strength to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12)? If so, what is it that you think you are lacking?

As we find ourselves in the midst of our study in Ephesians chapter 6, we are told to put on the whole armor of God. However, we are reminded in verses 11, and 13 to “stand.” Standing doesn’t seem like a very strategic maneuver when it comes to battle, but this is nothing new for the people of God. In 2 Chronicles 20 when the Ammonites and Moabites and others came against Jehoshaphat and the people of God, what did God’s people do? They went into the house of the Lord, and sought after God. They were reminded of God’s goodness and His promise towards them. And their instructions were to go out to the battlefield and stand still, and see the salvation of God! They were strengthened in the joy of the Lord. Similarly, in Nehemiah’s day, the Ammonites and Ashdodites and a host of others were coming up against God’s people. So they reminded themselves of God’s power and promises, put on their armor, and stood along the wall as they continued to build. In chapter 4 verse 20, Nehemiah reminds them, “Our God will fight for us.

Brothers and sisters, if we are to “stand” against our enemy which no longer is flesh and blood, but spiritual principalities and the powers of darkness, we need to be strengthened in the joy of the Lord. The victory is ours when the battle is the Lord’s!